Speedwork: Giving it your all

This month, I began Speed Sessions with Fleet Feet Nashville. This training group meets once a week at a local high school to complete track workouts. The aim is simple. Do speedwork. Get Faster.

In total honesty, I was not looking forward to this. Running uncomfortably fast with a bunch of strangers in the summer heat was not my idea of fun. But, I know that speed work is crucial to running a faster marathon. So, I signed up.

Our workouts are geared based upon our 1 mile trial time run at the first session. My time trial was 8:20. I thought it was the best I had.

This week, I decided I needed to push myself out of my comfort zone. So, I did the workout based on a time trial of 8:00.

The workout called for a ~1.25 miles of warmup, some various exercises, the actual speedwork and a 1 mile cooldown. The speedwork was as follows (based on an 8 minute mile pace) : run 800m (.5 miles) at 4:00, active recovery (walk/jog) for 200m (0.125 miles), run 200m at 1:00, active recovery for 200m, run 200m at 0:57, recovered (walk/jog/catch breath/pep talks for the next round) for 800m.

Thankfully, I found 3 other ladies who were shooting for similar paces – Mary, Jan and Tracy. With each other’s help, we pushed each other through the workout.

I surprised myself and finished the first round with 3:57 for 800m, 0:58 for 200m and 0:56 for final 200m, second round was 4:00/0:58/0:53, third round was 3:58/0:58/0:51.

I tried to write the workout on my hand. This method is not very effective in 100 degree weather.

So, what did I do differently? Well, running with fast ladies definitely helped. I also told myself that I could run the workout based on faster paces. Last, I didn’t leave anything out there. I gave my all to the workout.

The last part is the key to all this. To get faster, you have to give your all to speedwork sessions. That means not standing in your own way of getting faster.

Next week, we have our next time trial. I am going to give it my all and hope for not only an 8 minute mile but something faster. Running fast this week was hard and challenging, but I left the workout feeling amazing. I am really excited for the rest of our training.

Cheers to speedy miles ahead!

Chester is very fast but he gets distracted very easy. He did 1.5 miles this week!

Question: Anyone have advice on speed work? If not, anyone have fun plans for the weekend?

8 Comments

Filed under Fleet Feet Training, Goals, Marathon Training, Running, Uncategorized

8 Responses to Speedwork: Giving it your all

  1. Totally agree! I underestimate myself when it comes to speed but if you give it your all you’d be surprised at what you can do. Good luck on hitting sub 8s!

  2. You pointed out one of the keys to better performance…you ran with fast ladies! We have to challenge each other by placing ourselves with those who excel in the areas we want go grow.

  3. awesome job girl! keep pushing yourself! you’re faster than you know!

  4. misszippy1

    Speedwork, with others, is the best way to get faster. Time and again I’ve found that my splits are going to be faster w/ company than without. As a running coach, I will add this one bit of advice–after next week’s time trial, stick to the prescribed paces. You don’t want to push TOO hard in speed work and get hurt. You should always finish your last repeat knowing you could do another if you had to. Good luck with it all!

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